The Stars Don’t Always Shine at All-Star Games
Published: Thursday, January 26, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 20:11
This weekend features two monumental(ly boring) sporting events.
The non-check NHL All-Star Game and the three-hour long two-hand touch game that is the NFL Pro Bowl.
The physical aspect of both sports that makes them great has been taken out in the all-star games, which leaves viewers, well, not viewing.
The Pro Bowl was switched to the week before the Super Bowl a few years ago. Which means any player playing in the Super Bowl will not be there so as to not risk injury. Usually the two teams in the Super Bowl have some big names in the Pro Bowl. For example, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Wes Welker, Eli Manning, and Jason Pierre-Paul will not be there. Also, the game is Hawaii, which makes it hard for fans to attend. There are also some rule changes for the game, including players not being allowed to blitz. This hurts a large portion of the defensive stars by not allowing them to showcase their talent.
Another problem is players skipping the All-Star Game. If there is one person that needs to be at the NHL All-Star Game, it's Alex Ovechkin. He received a three-game suspension for a reckless hit to the head on Penguins defensemen Zybnek Michalek. Ovechkin said that he feels he doesn't deserve to be at the All-Star Game because he is suspended. But I believe it is a way to get back at the NHL for the suspension. But, it's the fans that will suffer.
He was picked, however, and therefore deserves to be there. With Sidney Crosby injured, Ovechkin is the biggest the name in the sport. His reputation and personality is exemplified by his flair. The All-Star Game and skills competition are the platforms where Ovechkin can showcase his skills to their full potential.
This event is just as much for the fans as the players. Ovechkin is hurting the game – the game of hockey, not just the All-Star Game – by not attending. The only thing I remember from the last few skills competitions was Ovechkin doing some sort of spin while juggling the puck and then him putting on a fisherman's hat with Canadian flags and trying to score with two sticks.
Players need to receive permission from the league to miss the NHL All-Star Game if selected or they face a one game suspension. The rule is in place so that players don't skip just to rest. The Red Wings captain, Nicklas Lidstrom opted out because he is 41 years old and needs the break. His absence was approved.
Lidstrom is one of the best defensemen in the history of the game, but the all-star game is focused on flash and offense. Lidstrom, although an offensive defenseman, doesn't bring the same flash that Ovechkin does. Plus, he is one of the oldest players in the game.
Another point I would like to bring up is Ovechkin and Lidstrom were not voted by the fans. That is one thing that makes me give them some leniency.
Over the summer Derek Jeter was voted in by the fans, but missed the MLB All-Star Game because he was physically and emotional tired from his 3,000th hit. That really grinded my gears.
The people who have made you a millionaire wanted to see you in the game and because you are emotionally tired you don't go? He was chosen to start the game so all he had to do is sit around during the Home Run Derby and then play one inning and maybe have an at-bat. Doesn't he owe the fans that?
So thank you, Alex for skipping on the event that might make people forget how much of a dirty player you can be and focus on the talent that has made you an All-Star.